The Competition Bureau, an independent Canadian law enforcement agency announced it was discontinuing and ceasing its multi-year probe into whether several banks acted in collusion to dictate the Japanese yen London Interbank Offered Rates (Libor), according to an agency statement today.
In what has transpired into a three-year long case, the Bureau ultimately had conducted what the regulator described as an “exhaustive review” and oversaw a vast panel of evidence for the potential violation of the Competition Act – a countermeasure towards the rigging and colluding of banking entities or individuals.
According to the statement, “The investigation is being discontinued because the evidence collected was insufficient to justify prosecution.” Indeed, the investigation began back in 2011, founded upon the accusations that global banks had attempted to manipulate and rig rates to augment derivatives prices.
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Record Fines Numbering Nearly $6.0 Billion: EU Regulators Refuse To Throw In Towel
The cessation of the probe comes nearly a month after a panel of European antitrust regulators sanctioned a €1.7 billion ($2.3 billion) fine on a series of six American and European institutions. The accumulated fine and penalties, eventually tallied at nearly $6.0 billion, proving to be the largest regulatory fine on record. The primary distinction between European regulators however, is that their investigation is still ongoing, suggesting this saga is far from complete.
The investigated financial institutions by the Competition Bureau constituted several global leaders in the industry, including ICAP, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and HSBC.